Informed Families Blog

The Giving Bonus

Posted by Informed Families on December 21, 2020 at 9:00 AM

‘Tis the season for giving, the time when we rush around in a frenzy buying presents for friends and family. We also use this time to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and share our good fortune by donating to various charities.

And it turns out that our generosity not only makes the recipients happy and helps others, it’s also good for our own mental and physical health.

According to a new report from the Cleveland Clinic, the health benefits associated with giving include:

  • lower blood pressure
  • increased sell-esteem
  • less depression
  • lower stress levels
  • longer life
  • greater happiness and satisfaction
  • faster recovery from illness

“There is evidence that, during gift-giving behaviors, humans secrete ‘feel-good’ chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a feel-good chemical), and oxytocin (a compassion and bonding chemical),” the report explains.

“When you look at the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities, scientists found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center in the brain—releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the ‘helper’s high.’ ”

The report goes on to note that, like other highs, the “helper’s high” is addictive, but in the best possible way. It is the one kind of “addiction” you might want to encourage in your children.

Family Table Time logoAs it happens, “Season of Giving” and “Sharing” are two of the topics in Informed Families’ Family Table Time activity kit for December. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this valuable resource, you owe it to yourself to try it. Sign up now to receive your first kit and each week you’ll receive colorful and engaging Family Table Time materials specially designed to nurture communication and bring your family closer.

If you want to try Family Table Time before committing, you can receive a FREE four-week subscription, which includes an agenda for family meetings, character-based conversation starters, quick and easy family recipes, and suggestions for fun physical activities families can do together. So why not sign up today!

Topics: Family Table Time, season of giving

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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